3+4 = 4+3? Meditation Timer Experiment Report

In ancient China, a person raised a monkey. He fed the monkey 4 nuts in the morning and 3 nuts in the evening. The monkey was sad and cried. So the person gave 3 nuts in the morning and 4 nuts in the evening, the monkey was happy. The person easily outsmarted the monkey with “3+4” and “4+3”.

At the first glance, this story showed the monkey was silly and did not know how to count. Going deeper, there is a possibility that the monkey had specific preference. Interestingly, I found I am like the monkey.

After the 10-day vipassana meditation course, I decided to practice two 1-hour meditation each day. For me, to mediate everyday is not very hard. As long as I schedule it on my calendar, I follow it pretty well. My challenge is to sit through the full hour.

At beginning, I arbitrarily thought too many “ding”-intervals over 1-hour mediation are distracting. Therefore, I set the timer to ding once at 15’; when it finished at 1 hour, a finishing bell rang; i.e. a 15’+45’ model. Pretty quickly I heard 15’, but when I was in the 45’ session, it was a little bit too long. I felt like it was endless and boring during the last 10 minutes in some day.

After 10 days of this model, I reset the timer to ding once at 45’; when it finished at 1 hour, a finishing bell rang; i.e. a 45’+15’ model. Amazingly, I felt much better. It did not take too long for me to hear the “Ding”; it was not too long to hear the finishing bell. It seems my monkey mind, like the monkey, loves this new 45’+15’ model.

This is my beginner’s experience on daily practice. How about you? Can you share your experience? What model does your mind follow?

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About JY

In the end of 2017, I completed my first 10-day vipassana meditation course. Since then, I regularly practice vipassana meditation. Currently, I work as a Professor in a university in Philadelphia. I am fascinated by both traditional wisdom and modern science.

2 thoughts on “3+4 = 4+3? Meditation Timer Experiment Report

  1. Hi JY,

    When my monkey mind needs extra support to sit for the whole hour it helps me a lot to listen to one of the guided groupsittings with long instructions from Goenkaji.
    I find it not only very supportive for my practise on the pillow, but it also helps me to feel connected with our Dhamma father.
    You can find the guided groupsittings at pariyatti.org or just download the new Vipassana app. With metta, Patricia

    Like

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